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Business Briefs

For Saturday, July 16, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

LAST UPDATED: 11:35 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Electricity rates on Oahu up in July

Residential electricity rates rose in July on Oahu and Hawaii island but fell on Maui and Kauai.

Hawaiian Electric Co. said a typical 600-kilowatt-hour bill for Oahu residential customers rose to $199.68 in July from $195.50 in June. The effective rate for electricity in Honolulu is 31.9 cents per kilowatt-hour in July, up from 31.2 cents last month.

Elsewhere in the state:

» The typical bill for Hawaii island residential customers rose to $262.24 from $262.04. The rate per kilowatt-hour was unchanged at 41.8 cents.

» The typical bill for Maui residents fell to $230.06 from $233.43. The effective rate was 37.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, down from 37.6 cents per kilowatt-hour in June.

» On Kauai the rate fell to 42.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. Last month the rate charged by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was 44.05 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Hawaii typically has the highest cost for electricity in the nation. The national average was 11.8 cents per kilowatt-hour in April, the most recent numbers available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Aiea company lands $15 million Navy pact

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific, or NAVFAC, awarded a $15 million architect-engineering contract to Element Environmental LLC of Aiea for the installation restoration investigations at various Navy and Marine Corps activities in the NAVFAC Pacific area, but not limited to Hawaii, Guam and Japan.

The work to be performed includes engineering, chemistry, geology, hydrogeology, human health and ecological risk assessment, social and life sciences, drafting, electronic data management, statistics, health and safety, and other support services. The work is expected to be completed by July 2014.

Dave & Buster's seeks $150 million in IPO

Dave & Buster's Entertainment Inc., the owner of Dave & Buster's restaurant and arcade venues, seeks to raise $150 million in an initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing.

The Dallas-based company, which has an outlet in Honolulu, didn't specify the number of shares it would sell or the price range in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Proceeds will be used to repay debt, and the stock will trade under the symbol PLAY.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Jefferies Group Inc. and Piper Jaffray Cos. were hired to lead the deal, according to the prospectus. Last year, Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired Dave & Buster's for $570 million.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $148.6 million for the quarter ended May 1, the company said in the filing. There are 57 Dave & Buster's locations in the United States and Canada. One location is a franchise.

Regulators close 4 small banks in 3 states

WASHINGTON » Regulators shut down four small banks Friday in three states, boosting to 55 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The overall pace of closures, however, has slowed this year as banks work their way through piles of bad debt. A slow but improving U.S. economy also has helped stem the number of bank casualties this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized High Trust Bank in Stockbridge, Ga., One Georgia Bank in Atlanta, First Peoples Bank in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Summit Bank in Prescott, Ariz.

The action brings to 16 the number of lenders to collapse this year in Georgia. In Florida the tally is now seven, while in Arizona it's now two.

BofA shares briefly drop below $10

NEW YORK » Bank of America shares fell below $10 for the first time since May 2009.

The stock price hit an intraday low of $9.88 Friday, making it the only one of the four largest banks with a share price in the single digits.

Most large bank stocks fell on Friday on fears of the fallout of the European debt crisis and the results of stress tests on the European banks' ability to withstand economic stress.

BofA's stock ended the day off 7 cents at $10.

Investors have been bailing out of Bank of America stock for several months, driving the price. In the past 12 months, Bank of America Corp.'s stock has fallen 35 percent, making it the third-worst-performing stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

The stock decline is a setback for the nation's largest bank and its CEO, Brian Moynihan, who has had to deal with multiple crises in the past year, mostly related to mortgage problems stemming from the bank's 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial.

On the Move

» Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties has announced Tammy McGrew as assistant branch manager. She has more than 25 years of experience in the escrow and title insurance industry and was previously the Hawaii state manager at First American Title National  Vacation Ownership Services.

» The American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter, has announced the following new board of directors: Bob Barlow, Carolyn Berry, Jeff Chung, Gina Pohlabel, Robert Reich and Peter Tomozawa. Rejoining the board are Jeffrey and Randy Harris, Jean Rolles, Gerald Sumida and Jim Yates. New Red Cross officers are C. Scott Wo as chapter chair, Jean Rolles as vice chair, Kitty Lagareta as secretary and Patrick Kobayashi as treasurer.

» Alexander & Baldwin Foundation and its subsidiary Matson Navigation Co. have awarded a $7,500 gift to University of Hawaii at Hilo's ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii. The funds will support the navigation and way-finding skills workshop at ‘Imiloa, which is focused on training crew members of Hawaii's voyaging community.

» The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded PA‘I Foundation a $150,000 "Our Town" grant to be used for the development of plans for a traditional Hawaiian Cultural Center as well as related programming that showcases and supports traditional cultural practitioners and contemporary Native Hawaiian visual arts.

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